By Ifeoma Asika Asika, Correspondent Campuses
The Embassy of the United States of America in South Africa has partnered with the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) to implement the 2020-2021 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) South Africa programme.
Now in its second year, another 125 female entrepreneurs will be selected nationwide for an opportunity to receive virtual and in-person training and mentorship sessions for eight months.
“AWE is a great opportunity for women entrepreneurs across South Africa to gain university-level business and management training, strengthen their networks, and grow as entrepreneurs.” said Embassy Public Affairs Officer Maureen Mimnaugh. She noted that “particularly in a post-COVID world, the tools for successful entrepreneurship will be more important than ever, and this program aims to support women in a recovering economy of innovation.”
AWE is an initiative of the US State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) as part of the White House-led Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative which aims to empower 50 million women worldwide by 2025 to fulfill their economic potential, with the goal of creating conditions for increased stability, security, and prosperity for all. Currently implemented in more than 50 countries, AWE supports the growth of women entrepreneurs by equipping them with the practical skills, resources, mentorship, and networks needed to create sustainable businesses and enterprises. AWE is centered around DreamBuilder, an online training platform for women’s entrepreneurship developed by the Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management in partnership with the global copper mining company Freeport-McMoRan.
AWIEF founder and chief executive officer, Irene Ochem said “We are excited that the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria has partnered with AWIEF to implement this important program tailored for women’s economic empowerment. Participating in the AWE program will not only help the selected 125 female entrepreneurs, but will also benefit their families, their communities, and the economic development of South Africa”.
The 8-month-long AWE programme will take place at American Spaces in five South African cities: Durban/Pietermaritzburg, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, and Cape Town.
South African women entrepreneurs are invited to apply until September 30, 2020.